Thinking about which of the city's best walks you'll do will determine where to stay in Sydney.

If you'll be doing other things during your stay, it doesn't really matter where you stay as it's fairly easy to get around… but if you only have a short time in Sydney and like the sound of these walking itineraries, then it's best to stay somewhere really convenient to the start or end of each walk.

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Where to Stay for the Sydney City Walk

The beauty of the Sydney City Walk is you can start and end anywhere. But to hit the major sights, I recommend Circular Quay / The Rocks area (it's near the ferry terminal if you want to squeeze in the Watsons Bay Walk too).

Lots of visitors also like Darling Harbour – it's convenient and has lots of waterside restaurants – but I find it very planned, in a town-planning sort of way. That said, the area is often alive with free cultural events throughout the year.

I recommend Darling Harbour if you're in Sydney for a conference at the Convention Centre and want to sneak in a walk, or if you have a young family (best children's city playground ever!).

Where to Stay near Bondi or Coogee

Want to spend more time discovering Sydney's most famous beach on the Bondi to Coogee Walk?

Accommodation at Bondi Beach ranges from backpacker hostels to luxe. We enjoyed the location of Hotel Bondi when it was the former Swisotel. These days, I'd love to try the upscale QT Bondi.

Loved by Brits, you could also try Coogee‘s pub culture, although it's less convenient to Sydney's other sights.

For the Spit to Manly walk

The first thing you need to know about where to say in Sydney to do the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk, is that there is nowhere to stay around The Spit. Not even Air BnBs.

But Circular Quay and The Rocks area is perfect for the ferry from the city to Manly.

Manly, like Bondi Beach, ranges from beachside hostels to much fancier.

For people who love the outdoors and a bit of history, I highly recommend Q Station. It's a converted and restored quarantine station just out of Manly itself, on North Head (free transfers). Make time for a meal in the restaurant, yum!

where to stay in sydney

View of Q Station, Manly. I wish we'd had more time to enjoy the near-deserted Station Beach. Image: Q Station.

We stayed in a Suite (Heritage) room with Queen bed on the first night of our honeymoon walking from Manly to Bondi. We have been raving about this unique historic accommodation ever since.

Where to stay in Sydney Q Station

Throw open the french doors at the historic Q Station, Manly. Image: Q Station.

Where to Stay in Sydney for the Watsons Bay walk

There's a boutique hotel at Watsons Bay that's actually part of the pub (speak to reception if you have noise concerns).

It's not as close to the actual Watsons Bay Walk, but consider staying 15 minutes down the road at Double Bay for eastern suburbs swank, at either the 5-star Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay, or 3.5 star The Savoy (check all Double Bay hotels and availability).

But the most versatile location – in terms of combining this walk with more general Sydney sightseeing – is still the Circular Quay and Rocks area, right near the ferry to Watsons Bay.

For the Bradleys Head walk

Unless you're specifically after the immersive “Roar and Snore” experience staying overnight at Taronga Zoo (in which case this walk would be perfect the next day), just stay around Circular Quay and The Rocks to be near the ferry across to Taronga Zoo where the Bradleys Head Walk starts.

For walks in Royal National Park (Wedding Cake Rock or Figure 8 Pools)

The short answer is to stay in the city centre – perhaps near Central Station, Darling Harbour, or The Rocks – or wherever's convenient to the rest of your Sydney visit. Keep in mind the best train stations to head south to Cronulla (to get the ferry across to the National Park) are Central, Town Hall (near the shopping precinct) and Martin Place (in between the shopping precinct and Circular Quay).

The long answer is here… read more about Royal National Park accommodation.

Where to Stay in Sydney

We make an effort to stay in different Sydney locations, and with different budgets, each time we stay in Sydney. Here are our tried and tested places.

Q Station Manly

Sydney's original quarantine station at Manly is now a 4.5 star hotel set in 35 hectares of Sydney Harbour National Park.

Sir Stamford, Circular Quay

A luxury hotel near the Sydney Opera House and Botanic Gardens.

1831 Hotel, Sydney

A centrally located boutique budget hotel near Chinatown, with single, twin, double and family rooms.

Royal National Park Accommodation

Every accommodation option in and near Sydney's Royal National Park, from hotels to campgrounds, AirBnBs to serviced apartments.

Best Camping Grounds In and Near Sydney

Have a big group or simply prefer to be at one with nature? Get the lowdown on campgrounds around town.

Billabong Retreat Sydney

An active health retreat an hour from the city's centre, Billabong offers one - seven day escapes. Programs include wholesome food, yoga and meditation.


Tara Wells is a journalist and former TV and radio producer/presenter who’s delighted to combine her love of hiking with story-telling.

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